Environmental Litigation

From Three Mile Island to the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill, K&W is one of the nation’s leading firms for forcing polluters to internalize the cost of their harms to people, communities, businesses and the public trust. K&W has achieved an unmatched record in navigating complex and dynamic environmental laws and regulations. Our national client base includes state governments, Native American tribes, labor unions, major corporations, developers, banks, small businesses, and property owners, who have turned to K&W for unparalleled expertise in environmental litigation.

Our litigation practice has involved successful claims for recovery of compensation for environmental contamination and damage to both persons and property. The firm is well renowned for its pursuit of various causes of action, including trespass, strict liability, unjust enrichment, and parens patriae, as well as for violations of federal and state environmental statutes. These actions have taken the form of class, multiple party, government, and individual plaintiff proceedings against a multitude of corporations, including ExxonMobil, British Petroleum, Shell, Texaco, ConocoPhillips, and Amoco.

Allan Kanner has written dozens of articles in the field of environmental law and authored a book, Environmental and Toxic Tort Trials. He is considered one of the nation’s top legal experts in this complex field and he and Lili Petersen have taught Tulane Law School’s Toxic Tort class for years.


Representative Cases:

  • State of New Mexico et al. v. The United States et al., Case No. 6:19-cv-00178 (U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico)
  • State of Vermont v. 3M Company et al. (Non-AFFF case), Docket No. 547-6-19 (Superior Court, Chittenden Unit)
  • State of Vermont v. 3M Company et al. (AFFF case), Case No. 2:19-cv-00134, within MDL 2873 (U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina)
  • N.J. Dep’t of Envtl. Prot. v. Hess Corp., f/k/a Amerada Hess Corp. & Buckeye Partners, L.P., No. MID-L-004579-18 (Superior Court, Middlesex County)
  • N.J. Dep’t of Envtl. Prot. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., No. GLO-L-000297-19 (Superior Court, Gloucester County)
  • Conservation Law Foundation, Inc. v. ExxonMobil Corporation et al., Historic lawsuit against Exxon for failure to protect local communities from climate change risk at its Everett Terminal near Boston, including violations of the CWA and RCRANo. 1:16-cv-11950-MLW (D. Mass.)
  • Conservation Law Foundation Inc. v. Shell Oil Products US et al., Historic lawsuit against Shell for failure to protect local communities from climate change risk at its Providence Terminal, including violations of the CWA and RCRANo. 1:17-cv-00396, (D. R.I.)
  • Lead Counsel for State of New Jersey, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection vs. ExxonMobil Corporation$225 million settlement in 2015 following 66 day trial, L-1650-05 (N.J. Superior Court, Union County)
  • Lead counsel for State of Louisiana, In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010Largest natural resource damage settlement (2015) in history with largest share (over $5 billion) to the State of LouisianaMDL No. 2179
    • State of Louisiana v. Triton Asset Leasing GmBH, et al.seeking declaratory judgment against Transocean entities involved with the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico., No. 2:10-cv-3059, EDLA
    • State of Louisiana v. BP Exploration & Production, Inc., et al.seeking penalties, declaratory judgment and damages from entities involved with the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico., 2:11-cv-00516, EDLA
  • Co-lead counsel, Philip Roeder, et al v. Atlantic Richfield Co. and BP America, Inc.approx. $19 million class settlement in 2013, No. 11-105, (D. Nev.)
  • Janes v. CIBA-GEIGY Corp.$20 million settlement on behalf of property owner class affected by the seepage of volatile organic compounds from chemical wastes stored on the property in Toms River Township, New Jersey., No. L-1669-01 Mass Tort 248 (Law Dix. Middlesex Cty., NJ)
  • Samples v. Conoco, Inc.$65 million settlement on behalf of property owner class affected by ground and surface water pollution as a result of fertilizer and wood treatment processing., No. 01-631 (Fla. 1 JDCC)
  • Petrovic v. Amoco Oil Co.multi-million dollar settlement of pollution claims on behalf of a certified class of property owners affirmed on appeal, 200 F.3d 1140 (8th Cir. 1999)

Natural Resource Damages Publications:

  • Kanner, Environmental Gatekeepers: Natural Resource Trustee Assessments and Frivolous Daubert Challenges, 49 E.L.R. 10420 (May 2019).
  • Kanner & Reilly, Like A Phoenix Rising From the Ashes: Melding Wildfire Law Into A Comprehensive Statute, 33 J. Envtl. L. & Lit. 47 (2018).
  • Kanner, More Than Seals and Sea Otters: OPA Causation and Moratorium Damages, 28 Duke Envtl. L. & Pol’y F. 31 (Fall 2017).
  • Kanner, Emerging Trends in Perflourinated Chemical Regulation and Litigation, ABA Environmental and Energy Litigation Newsletter, (August 28, 2017).
  • Kanner, Emerging Trends in Unregulated Contaminant Litigation: PFCs, Abstract, 37th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants – DIOXIN 2017. 37th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), Vancouver, Canada.
  • Kanner, Issues Trustees Face in Natural Resource Damage Assessments, Part II, Journal Of Environmental Protection (April 2017).
  • Kanner, Issues Trustees Face in Natural Resource Damage Assessments, Part I, Journal Of Environmental Protection (April 2017).
  • Kanner, Petersen, & Brouk, Federal Environmental Laws Require Hardening Against Climate Change, Vol. I, ABA Environmental And Energy Litigation Newsletter NO. 1 (Nov. 2016).
  • Kanner, Which Came First, the Incident or the Oil: The Moratorium and OPA Causation, Vol. I, Environmental And Energy Litigation Newsletter, Issue NO. 1 (Nov. 2016).
  • Kanner, Experts in Natural Resource Damages and Toxic Tort Litigation, Proceedings of the International Network of Environmental Forensic Conference, Journal Of Environmental Protection (2015).
  • Kanner, Natural Resource Restoration, 28 Tul. Envt. L.J. 355 (Summer 2015).
  • Kanner & Morrison, Environmental Forensics and Natural Resource Damages, Environmental Forensics (2012).
  • Kanner, Evidence and Expert Witnesses in Environmental Forensic Cases, Ch. 11, Methods In Environmental Forensics, (Stephen M. Mudge) (2008).
  • Kanner, Strategy and Storytelling in Environmental Litigation, ABA Environmental Litigation Committee Newsletter (Winter/Spring 2007).
  • Kanner, Meeting the Burden for Admissibility of Environmental Forensic Testimony, 8 Environmental Forensics 1 (Mar. 2007).
  • Kanner & Ziegler, Understanding and Protecting Natural Resources, 17 Duke Envtl. L. & Pol’y F. 119 (Fall 2006).
  • Kanner, The Public Trust Doctrine, Parens Patriae, and the Attorney General As the Guardian of the State’s Natural Resources, 16 Duke Envtl. L. & Pol’y F. 57 (Fall 2005).
  • Kanner & Nagy, Measuring Loss of Use Damages in Natural Resource Damage Actions, 30 Colum. J. Envtl. L. 417 (2005).
  • Kanner, Tribal Sovereignty and Natural Resource Damages, 25 Pub. Land & Resources L. Rev. 93 (Spring 2004).
  • Kanner & Nagy, Crocodile Tears: Polluters’ Concerns about Contingency Fees in NRD Cases, ABA Environmental Litigation Committee Newsletter (Fall/Winter 2004).
  • Kanner, Unjust Enrichment In Environmental Litigation, 20 J. of Envtl. L. & Lit. 111 (Spring 2005).
  • Kanner & Nagy, The Use of Contingent Fees in Natural Resource Damage and Other Parens Patriae Cases, 19 Bna Toxics Law Reporter 32 (Aug. 12, 2004).
  • Kanner, Casey & Ristroph, New Opportunities for Native American Tribes to Pursue Environmental and Natural Resource Claims, 1 Duke Envtl. L. & Pol’y 155 (Fall 2003).
  • Kanner, Rebuilding America, 20 NAEP News 17 (Nov./Dec. 1995).
  • Kanner, Rethinking Superfund, 20 NAEP News 19 (1995).

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